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Offline Greno Zee

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« dnia: 13 Lipca 2007, 14:41:22 »
Hi everyone!
It's been a while since my last posting but be assured keep keep an eye on this forum quite well - even though it's not an easy task for non-polish reader. But inevitably I feel it's time to throw in some vision, concerns and a bit of constructive criticism ;)

First, let me start with some compliments.
I am still convinced the developers managed to bring out the best train sim there is when measured by combined realism and entertainment value. True, I haven't played many others, just MSTS, where the missions and especially the terminations drove me nuts together with the repetitiveness. I've played BVE as well, which reaches the highest popularity in the freeware domain but offers only straight ahead cabin view and completely fixed environment (no moving trains, track = mission and such - well, there are tools to modify the tracks to add variety).
On all these points I believe MaSzyna is better or has got the potential to get better.

And here comes my biggest concern. This community is highly localized. I've ran a comparison search on the web to see results for BVE and maszyna. There are tons of pages on BVE from all over the world and just few pages on maszyna, mostly in Poland.
Now I understand that the aim of MaSzyna is to bring PKP onto the computer screens and there is nothing wrong with that. What I find unfortunate here is that the project seems to be limited to just that.
First, of course, there is the software itself. I don't know how much is hard coded and how much is scenery dependent (I know for one that only locos in the subfolder PKP can be driven) - like signals, signs and such. The active development seems to be stopped and I right now don't see much hope for a future resurrection.
Second, there's the forum. While I can see lot of activity there, quite some scenery and loco projects, this is all in polish and doesn't ever see it's way out to the world wide public.
To sum things up, we've got a very active polish community here, around a dead project with a dead web page.
In any world, this is the recipe for total death - which i would ABSOLUTELY hate to see, since as I mentioned before, MaSzyna is the best around for die hard sims like me.
On top of that, believe me, you want the community to expand. The more people get interested in MaSzyna, the more sceneries and locos would get available which in turn brings lot more entertainment to all of us.

So let's assume this initiative (well, it's just one post, really, but I hope it becomes an initiative) gets the support and we, non-polish admirers can hope for better future. I've been trying to put some thoughts together and came up with the following list of ideas/actions that should start us in the desired direction:
    [*]Publish in English
    I understand many of the community members can't speak English well if at all. It's the same in Czechia and that's just the way it is. Yet from a non-polish user's point of view there is almost nothing to drive and nowhere to drive. If we could get in the English forum a section for released work, where all the sceneries and dynamics would be listed with download links and some instructions, it would be great. If the author him/herself can't announce his/her releases, I'm sure there are lot of member who would happily do it in their place.
    Here I don't mean any alpha or pre-beta versions but once a project is released or even pre-released, an announcement in the English section would be great.
    [*]Make English documentation available
    While the installation and driving instructions are already here, there is no English documentation for developers. I've got on my PC Scenery.doc, fyzika.doc, RFC Commands and some other files (even in different versions) and I just can't find my way through. If anyone could translate these, update them (they seem to be several years old, no idea whether they're up to date) and again, make them available, I'm sure it would attract at least some additional developers. And if it does, a subsection here to discuss development issues would be nice as well ;)
    [*]Spread the word
    This is pretty much what it says. Whenever you get a chance to mention MaSzyna somewhere, do it. Try to get links to it on freeware sites, rail sim sites, anywhere. I've for instance placed a post in the HOTU Forum.
    [*]The software
    Outch, this is a tough one. I know it's been mostly abandoned because it bounced off the limits of it's 3D engine to make place for Nebula development, which in turn is where we can just guess it is. So, leaving Nebula aside, could anyone provide some consolidated info on where exactly the MaSzyna development is? What is the status of the source code? Would you accept new developers? or even allow new development based upon this source? Is there any TODO list? If so, can we see it? Would anyone consider implementing change requests?
    Well, I'm sure you get the idea so I'll spare the rest of my 100 questions :D
    [/list]
    So, this is it for now. I'll eagerly await the reactions and my hopes are high! :P

    Offline Bartek

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    « Odpowiedź #1 dnia: 13 Lipca 2007, 15:26:32 »
    A philosofic digression at first: it's funny that people from Czech Republic and Poland communicate using English :) I know it's much easier and understanding is better but I can't resist the feeling that it's like travelling from Warsaw to Prague via London :)))

    Thank you for your precious comment.

    As I can remember there were efforts aimed at making MaSzyna more international. Our currently not updated Website (before the crash of the server in 2005 which hosted it) apart from the Polish version featured almost completely translated English version (including FAQ, some documentation, description of locos' cabs, updated download section etc.) and some German content. I was personally contributed to the English version. There were plans to translate it also to Czech and at least one another foreign language. Unfortunatelly, when server crashed foreign language verisions disappeared... :(

    Another thing is that the current status of the simulator is rather uncertain. There are a few good people who take efforts to develope it and keep it running, but their skills are limited (but I don't mean that they should be regarded as minor - I admire their efforts) to creating new models, routes and textures. The program itself may be edited by only a few people for two reasons: coding is more complicated than compiliation of routes, making of texures etc. The other reason for this is that the source code has not been published and made opened for all the community. As the authors are not interested in publishing it, I think that further development of MaSzyna is in danger.

    Another thing is that I don't really share your point of view towards international fans of MaSzyna. Take a look at the English forum - it's not so popular. New posts show up here w few times a month or even rarer.
    Maybe MaSzyna is one of the best train sims availble - I don't oppose this sentence - but I don't see so much international fever around it.

    Maybe it's because MaSzyna was intended as a strictly Polish train simulator. With Polish locos, cars, routes etc. I know that one would develop also foreign locos, cars and routes but first of all he would get to know how to do this which is itself quite complicated for Polish users. Since nobody asks for help with localizing MaSzyna in another railway environment - there's no need to help for those Polish users who know how to setup routes and trains.
    Pozdrawiam z Gdyni Wielkiego Kacka,
    Bartek

    Offline Greno Zee

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    « Odpowiedź #2 dnia: 02 Sierpnia 2007, 17:13:30 »
    Yeah, I share the same feeling about the communication - I actually was encouraged by my successes while reading your forum and tried to conversate with some people from Poland in czech-polish combo during my vacation - I very quickly realized english was the way to go for anything beyond "Good evening" :P

    Back to the issue. Maybe it was not clear from the original post but I totally concur - the english audience is ignorant towards MaSzyna.
    The initial post was actually an  analysis of the situation and a proposal of some steps to change this ignorance. I was away for 14 days and I must say I was a bit disappointed when after coming back there were no new reactions :(
    I hoped I could find add-on developers willing to publish their work here in english or at least some enthusiasts who would reannounce here work published in the polish section.
    I hoped someone might be eager to translate the developer documentation into english.
    And in my wildest dreams I thought someone could actively investigate what could be done about the web site to bring it back or at least gain control and recreate the lost contents...

    Anyone?...

    Offline kebaplover

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    « Odpowiedź #3 dnia: 24 Listopada 2007, 03:57:55 »
    Hello to everyone! I'm writing you from Italy, and I've recently discovered this fantastic simulator. I finally decided to register and I hope I can write here often :).
    I totally agree with Greeno Zee: i think too that the lack of non polish users is because there is no english documentation and support available for EU07... and I think that this is a real shame...
    I also think that Maszyna has a lot of unexpressed potential... The only more realistic thing I have ever seen is our "Simulatore Treno 4.01" (except for graphics) or maybe zusi simulator (thus i have never tried it), plus it's free! Bve maybe has better graphics, but Eu07 is far superior concerning the driving section...
    In my opinion we could do a lot of interesting italian rolling stock, considering the technical similarities (braking system, 3kv, rheostatic type locos, ecc), but the limits are in fact the language, the lack of documentation and of maybe even a easier way of editing the contents (eg a front end editor ecc)
    Bve was like Mazsyna at it's beginnings, but a lot of english documentation has been published, making it more popular among developers and users, but unfortunately this has not happened with Mazsyna, leaving almost unknown outside Poland, and, i repeat, this is a real shame... I just can't imagine what could come out of it!!
    A good start maybe would be to release contents with multilingual English/Polish documentation, so one may understand what he has to do in the scenario or at least it's issues or if there are particular procedures to follow etc etc
    Another bad thing is that (as far as i have understood) MaSzyna development has stopped... what is it's successor's (nebula) status?
    Anyway, I (and others) have really appreciated this excellent simulator, and I'm (we) are doing a little part in getting it more known by translating the operations guide in Italian, on trenomania (more precisely at this page... if you want to drop by there is a foreign users section, and you can download some of the excellent italian material for TS if you like ;); i really hope for a better future for MaSzyna...

    Bye :)
    it is better to shut up and give the impression of being stupid, rather than talk and confirm it

    Offline Ra

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    « Odpowiedź #4 dnia: 24 Listopada 2007, 05:54:25 »
    Hello!

    The big problem with MaSzyna now is, that the first engine started around 2000 reached its end of graphics possibilities (the FPS, shaders etc.). However it is still developed (corrected and upgraded), but is still not good enough (has some troubles with brakes and AI behaviour). You can download the recent build from this topic:
    http://eu07.pl/forum/index.php/topic,6712.0.html
    and the archive link itself
    http://www.eu07.pl/~kurs90/Maszyna.rar
    it needs the former data that you probably have. Caution! The starting loco is changed: first you need to power on the battery by J (you will hear the SHP/CA buzzer and see its light), then set direction d/r then press Space to clear the SHP/CA. Then the former procedure starts (O, M, X, C, .(Del), 4(Num), +).

    As I understood, in 2004 was started the second engine, called Nebula. So, it was no sense to write documentation for the old one and translate it to many languages, as Nebula was going to be much better and use different rules for data and other design tools. But unfortunately, Nebula got abandoned by the authors some years later, mostly due to too big competition from the developement of old MaSzyna. People prefered to dedicate their work for the old engine that worked, than for the new, that still needed to be finished. So, Nebula is dead and writing English pages for the old one has limited sense.

    For some time the third engine is started, called SPT. In this case not many documentation can be written yet, as there are a lot of things to define first. It uses the the OpenSceneGraph graphics and is going to support multiplayer and infinite tracks.


    I write a small tool that can be used with MaSzyna. It can be used as starter, and after more development will be data installator and editor (corrector) for the sceneries. It can also help when a scenery misses files and the MaSzyna fails due to this. I'm going to introduce foreign labels some later. You can download it from a link in my signature.


    From other side, I'm interested in conversion of the European tracks for train simulators. I'm going to use them in a data/traffic sever for SPT. If you can point me to realistic track of Italy (if such exist), I would like to adapt them for SPT. I could also convert them to the old MaSzyna, but need someone else who will test, compare to the original and point out the errors of automatic conversion.

    Offline ShaXbee

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    « Odpowiedź #5 dnia: 24 Listopada 2007, 13:18:52 »
    Currently we are designing engine key features, as soon as they will be up and running we will start to document them. This time we try to discuss every feature and make engine as flexible as possible - without that in mind development of new engine would be pointless.
    « Ostatnia zmiana: 24 Listopada 2007, 13:29:44 wysłana przez ShaXbee »

    Offline kebaplover

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    « Odpowiedź #6 dnia: 24 Listopada 2007, 13:42:03 »
    thank you for the replies!

    @ra:
    So: Nebula doesn't exist anymore, (right?) and currently another version is being developed, SPT wich will even support multiplayer... this is very good :)

    Also, currently i have not mazsyna installed due to lack of HD space, as soon as i can I will try your "starting tool" and the patch you linked :) ;)
    I didn't understand your last question: you are looking for pictures of Italian tracks only (or Rolling stock too?), am I right?

    bye :)
    it is better to shut up and give the impression of being stupid, rather than talk and confirm it

    Offline tof63

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    « Odpowiedź #7 dnia: 24 Listopada 2007, 16:52:10 »
    Writing manuals is a big time consuming and the same is to translate them.

    Bve is much more simple then EU07 and therefore also its documentation.

    Automatic translators better work to convert Japanese then Polish into English.

    The BVE "story" has been written out of Japan mostly becouse of a couple of persons Japanese speaking (a Japanese and a Britain) that started to share their knowledge in English on an English forum (Vern rail pages was in those time the mayor railsim site in the world). This in late 2000.

    This has been the not easy to repeat winning combination of BVE fortune.

    To add then commercial simulators like Trainz, MSTS and KRS where just in dreams of us trainsimfans, in that time. The Polish DOS running Mechanik EN47 was the better simulator than!

    However I don't want discourage and I'll be ever grateful to whatever person will work to share the knowledge of this simulator to English speaking people, as I bow to the intelligence and generosity of Polish authors and developers of the program.

    Offline kebaplover

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    « Odpowiedź #8 dnia: 24 Listopada 2007, 20:01:28 »
    Tof you are right, but mazsyna has been around for a long time... and almost no attempt to get it known outside poland has been made, (this is my impression), or according to the previous posts at least sice some time, making it, as has been said, a highly polish centralized, local reality... And this is (I'll never stop repeating myself) a real shame, if I think about the high potential it has... Still, we have to consider that the new STP is under development, and I'm not sure about how many content creators are interested in translating the documentation because of this or the lack of interest in doing so...
    Anyway I respect whoever is creating anything, because is keeping this great sim alive, wich is a really good thing :)

    best regards :)
    it is better to shut up and give the impression of being stupid, rather than talk and confirm it

    Offline Ra

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    « Odpowiedź #9 dnia: 25 Listopada 2007, 00:07:39 »
    kebaplover,
    There's no big sense in creating new things for the old MaSzyna (especially sceneries), because you everywhere meet the limitations. Like FPS<10 on an average station. Like errors in view through two trasparent textures in a line. Like one scheme of traction (for the 100km/h, AFAIK). Like very poor simulation of diesel-electric locos. And many more...

    Only some enthusiastic people can do something, as even Polish documentation is limited. Since Nebula was stared, there was no reason to promote the old MaSzyna internatinally and Nebula was in earlier phase, then got stucked, so there was nothing to promote at all. I noticed some English documentation for the old MaSzyna, that disappeard with a server crash and was never restored. Such situation continues up to now.

    The old MaSzyna was and is geat thing, but reached end of its possibilities. I hope we will create the SPT soon, using all the experience of old MaSzyna, Nebula and related things. I will do my best to make the SPT internationally available.


    Back to my question. I would like to make a very big realistic scenery, to train all over the Europe from Norway to Portugal or from Greece to UK. Documetation of some Polish routes were started, but are not finished mostly due to limitations of the MaSzyna. For the German Zusi some realistic routes are available (e.g. in the demo: Altenbergen-Ottenbergen). I just want to know, if there are realistic routes of Italy, e.g. Napoli-Pompei or so.

    Offline kebaplover

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    « Odpowiedź #10 dnia: 27 Listopada 2007, 00:39:32 »
    Ok Ra, let's put our hopes in SPT, then :)
    Anyway, if you want some (great) simulated italian routes, and if this is okay,  you can check trenomania... there is a lot of Italian scenery and rolling stock for Train Simulator, some routes are very long, like Florence - Milan or Florence - Rome -  Naples...
    To reach the downolads, cilk the "2" sign, then you can access the english version of the site with the uk flag at the bottom of the page.
    If you need anything about Italian signalling and such just ask and I'll gladly try to help

    best regards :)
    it is better to shut up and give the impression of being stupid, rather than talk and confirm it

    Offline LocomotivBL80

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    « Odpowiedź #11 dnia: 08 Stycznia 2009, 09:12:33 »
    Hello.

    I the Russian engineer. Perhaps, you already know me. I have written section http://eu07.pl/forum/index.php/topic, 10457.0.html

    Me the situation with working out of new simulator SPT code-named interests. As I have understood, it is based on technology «OpenSceneGraph». At what stage there is a working out at present? What is already realised? I can involve Russian programmers and designers. But it is necessary for me to know at what stage there is a working out at present?

    Many thanks to all programmers and developers for your work!
    ________________________________________________________

    Witaj.

    Ja rosyjski inżynier. Może wiesz już mnie. Napisałem rozdział http://eu07.pl/forum/index.php/topic, 10457.0.html

    Jestem zainteresowany w rozwoju nowego symulatora kryptonimie SPT. Jak rozumiem, jest ona oparta na technologii "OpenSceneGraph». Na jakim etapie rozwoju w tej chwili? Jak już wdrażane? Mogę przynieść rosyjskich programistów i projektantów. Ale ja muszę wiedzieć na jakim etapie rozwoju w tej chwili?

    Wielkie podziękowania dla wszystkich programistów i deweloperów do pracy!
    The engineer of means of communication. The machinist of the locomotive. I search the help in working out of Russian additions for EU07.

    Offline Winger

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    « Odpowiedź #12 dnia: 08 Stycznia 2009, 10:50:35 »
    Hi,

    SPT is in early concept design process, with nearly no code written yet. As I've mentioned before, I would not expect anything public before 2010. You are correct, it will be using OpenSceneGraph for graphics rendering.
    Pozdrawiam,
    Winger